“I know this will all sound strange, the ravings of a madman, but I swear on my mother’s grave, everything I’m about to tell you really happened! It was a week ago, I was coming back from a pub…. And before you ask me anything about it, yes, I’d had a few drinks, but I can handle the booze, there’s no way spirits will bring down Pena Rodrigues, my friend! I can call you a friend, right? After all we are fellow countrymen…
Well, I was walking the streets, minding my own business, when I heard a strange voice, whisperin in a metallic tone, very irritating, very unpleasant. “Help me, old man, help me”. In that area I don’t usually stop when someone calls out for me, it’s not advisable, of course, not safe, but that voice sounded so fragile! It didn’t seem menacing… I went to take a look. Behind some garbage dumpster there was… something. Looked like a huge beetle, the size of a dog, with metal legs and pincers.
Okay, okay, I know now this is really sounding like the ravings of a drunken, silly old man, but you must have certainly heard the rumours. There’s talk on the streets about these… these half mechanical, half organic creatures. Supposedly they come from the future and bring some advanced technology with them. They say it’s thanks to these… things… corporations are able to produce miracles like Neuropods and other stuff. Biotechnology, and such!
Anyway, I’m a poor old sailor, I haven no tech knowledge, you probably know better than me what I’m talking about, mister big shot newsman! As I said, the thing, what they sometimes call “Machinatore”, asked for my help. It was injured, said it was involved in a dispute with others like him. Actually in the vicinity, amidst the debris, there were two piles of electronic components mixed with a gelatinous stuff, lying in a puddle of a white substance. Gross! The one talking to me had a slash on it’s carapace, it was dripping white fluid too, I suppose it’s their blood. I don’t know, man… Well, the tiny guy told me that, in exchange for my help, it would give me an “artefact”. Artefact is what it said. I know it meant some kind of technological prototype. This shit is worth a lot of money on the black market. Quite a lot! A brain implant, to boot, man, how could I refuse?
Then it made a very strange request: a pint of blood, a cup of semen, a car battery, some copper wire and a light bulb. Man, I know how this sounds, don’t give me that look, mister! That’s what the thing asked me! I was perplexed too, but it was no trouble at all. I asked it to wait for a few minutes, got the items it asked me for, and came back. But I was suspicious, man, I only delivered what it asked me for when it showed me the goods: a tiny metal thing, wrapped in a rag. Of course I didn’t know what the hell it was, but I pretended that I did, that I knew about these things. I handed it what was asked from me, took the package, and ran away from there as fast as I could!
Then I called a few fencers, explained what I had; the guys showed interest and said we’d probably do business, first thing in morning. Great, some money coming in, man! I went back to the Flesh Café, in Grand Socco, and had a few more drinks. I was nervous, you know? I also had me some Black Meat, because… well there were reasons to celebrate! Shortly afterwards, I went home. Or I was going back home because, in the meantime, somehow, I passed out in the middle of the street. When I woke up, my damn bad luck, someone had stolen the fucking artefact! Life sucks, mister, and I’ve never been a lucky man! Well, now, can you score me some Black Meat, man? I’m having the shakes…”
Pena Rodrigues, an Avalidad denizen, interviewed by Reynaldo Duque, aka Reporter X, for the Gonzo News RealBulletin
You can purchase As Above, so Below on DrivethruRPG or the Postmortem Studios store